According to a Nov. 3 report from crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace, the recent movement involving two transactions adding up to 69,370 Bitcoin (BTC) — or more than $960 million at the time of publication — originated from an address connected with the Silk Road marketplace, which was shut down in 2013. The crypto user first sent 1 BTC — likely as a test transaction — before moving the bulk of the coins.
The Silk Road funds were contained in a wallet that has been circulating among hackers for more than two years. In September, a Twitter user claiming to have the wallet.dat file for the wallet put out a call to the crypto community for solutions on how to gain access to the more than 69,000 coins, even suggesting a quantum computer as a potential way to determine the private keys.
Silk Road was a darknet market which let users buy and sell illicit goods such as weapons and stolen credit card information, but the majority of listings were for illegal drugs. Ross Ulbricht, the site’s founder, is currently serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole after being found guilty of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics. He still provides periodic analyses on the Bitcoin market from prison.